After playing his part in the “Miracle of Medinah” last week, Paul Lawrie is hoping to ride the crest of a wave at this week’s Alfred Dunhill Links Championship.
Lawrie, who set the course record at St Andrews en route to winning the event in 2001, arrived back on home soil to a hero’s welcome after handing out a drubbing to Brandt Snedeker in the Sunday Singles at Medinah Country Club.
The 43 year old was the oldest member of Captain José María Olazábal’s triumphant Team, but admitted to feeling like a giddy teenager after helping Europe mount a comeback which was as unexpected as it was heroic.
Lawrie’s performance against Snedeker – he beat the FedEx Cup Champion 5&3 – set the tone for the final day, and the Aberdonian was only too happy to relive the drama.
He said: “To be six under through 15 holes, I can’t even begin to describe how satisfying that was. The feeling was that if you don’t play well, you’re getting beat and we’re losing The Ryder Cup, so that certainly focused the mind and got the blood pumping. To go out there and shoot six under and win 5&3, it doesn’t get any better than that, I wouldn’t have thought.”
Like his 11 team-mates, Lawrie was also quick to praise the contribution of Olazábal, whose rousing speeches were cited as one of the main catalysts for Europe’s courageous comeback.
Lawrie, who expressed an interest in captaining Europe in the future, was certainly inspired by the Spaniard’s rhetoric, which at times moved his team to tears.
Lawrie said: “He was absolutely brilliant the whole week. He was very hands off when you were playing, and didn’t get involved in things unless you kind of asked him. At every meeting we had, he was very positive. There were a few guys who were pretty emotional when he was telling us things that had happened in his past, and what The Ryder Cup meant to him.
“At one of the meetings – I think it was on the Friday – pretty much every player was crying, because he was coming out with such passion, you could just see, it oozes out of him. He’s very emotional, so it was nice for him to be a winning Captain. I think that’s what we were all trying to do, to make sure he wasn’t he wasn’t a losing Captain.”
The experience undoubtedly helped fuel a burning desire within the proud Scotsman to be involved when The Ryder Cup is held at The Gleneagles Hotel.
Prior to his press conference on Wednesday afternoon, Lawrie caught a helicopter to Gleneagles to deliver The Ryder Cup.
The flying visit started the official countdown to the 2014 contest, and Lawrie will be doing his utmost between now and then to ensure his berth on the team.
He said: “I don’t see that two years from now I’ll be less competitive than I am now. I would like to think that I would be even more competitive and a better player – that’s the plan. I’m certainly going to be in all the top events for the next little while, so if I keep the performances up that I’ve had, I’m going to have a fair chance of getting in that team. And if I don’t get in, it won’t be through lack of trying.”